tv America Tonight Al Jazeera September 20, 2013 12:00am-1:01am EDT
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>> mexico is still struggling to deal with the aftermath, the storms have devastated acapulco and the surrounding area. more than a million people have been effected, and mexican authorities raise the death toll to 97. thousands of tourists stranded in acapulco struggle to find clean water as they wait at the airport to leave. >> reporter: well, after a path of destruction in the southwestern part of the country, tropical storm manuel moved up to the southwest part of the country and hit down just a few days ago. the authorities are trying to take preventive measures. they've declared a red alert and suspended all classes. this is in advance of high winds
and potentially heavy rainfall, but we have not seen the kind of destruction there yet. but we've seen in southern uta mexico. i was in acapulco on wednesday and tuesday, and saw the amounts of destruction there and saw tens of thousands of people who have been affected, people who were in shelters, who had come to shelters because they lost their houses and were desperate to know what the government was going to do for them in the coming months ahead. we also went to villages, remote villages where people haven't received much help yet, and people are still living in areas which are very close to the water. their house versus been flooded, and it's just a very difficult situation. now the authorities are trying to get assistance to these people, but it's very challenging to get it to them because of the infrastructure damage that has been done. >> is there an indication that the government is up to the task here.
this is an operation that might countries. is there any indication that they will need help? >> so far the government has not reached out to other countries. they're trying to do as much as they can here within mexico. earlier today we were down at in mexico city, and they managed to bring 30 tons of food, donations made by individuals, also by businesses. the plan is to fly these down to the most affected areas and deliver them out to the people. that said we also saw on wednesday thousands of people who had been waiting in lines to get on to military flights to get out of acapulco, which is basically cut off from the rest of mexico by a collapsed highway. they've been waiting for days in the hot sun, and people were starting to get angry. people were starting to get really frustrated and tired with the length of time it was taking to get them flown out.
but it is a large, large mission. and from what we saw the government seems to be doing their best. >> what are you anticipating with the days to come with the weather in the north? >> well, that's a very good question. there is this tropical storm that has stumped down in northwest mexico. there is a tropical depression that is over the southeastern part of the country. and there is a forecast for 10 more tropical storms to hit mexico within the coming two months. that's how much time there is left in the hurricane season. so it looks like it could be a difficult couple of months that lie highway for mexico. >> dave mercer in mexico city dave. >> reporter: thank you. >> and it appears things in mexico may get worse before they get better. al jazeera meteorologist dave warren joins us now from new york. >> meteorologist: yes, well manuel is now a tropical depression, but that does not take away the danger.
it made landfall this morning just after 5:00 p.m. pacific time. just 5:00 a.m. category-one. it was not the strength of the hurricane, it was this, the movement, northeast at 11 mph, a very slow-moving storm, and now it's weakened from a tropical storm now weakened to a depression. it is slow moving over the area. the winds died down, but still a lot of rain with this, and only moving 7 mph. this slow-moving storm has put a lot of rain in the same area. four to six, six to 12, and 20 inches estimated. that has led to flash flooding and mudslides. it's slowly pushing off to the northeast, and it will slowly move out. it will take the rain with it, and this storm, despite the fact that it's weakening poses a big danger there. we go to a weakening storm to
one that is developing. it does not look to be intensifying all that much yet. over the next 48 hours it does pose a threat to intensify and it becomes a tropical storm and just sitting over the gulf there, and really it could dump a lot of rain over southern mexico. that would be the next main storm in the atlantic. >> all right, dave warren. thank you very much from our meteorology center. when we return, infant mortality. why is it impacting often. a certai search for answers tako cleveland.
o supportersof mohamed morsi. they say they're looking for those who torched police stations after morsi was overthrown. the country's most innocent has started a new school year. the government insisted that children should go back to their classrooms even though classrooms have been damaged or are being used to shelter displaced families. the cdc reported one an unsettling fact, if the baby's mother is african-american, that baby is likely to die before it's very first baby. we go to cleveland, ohio, america's infant mortality capital, to find out why those
babies are dying far too soon. >> reporter: it's monday morning in cleveland's metro north hospital. a newborn baby boy has just been rushed into the neonatal intensive care unit, known at nicu. weighing just over two pounds he's 14 weeks premature. that means he was in the womb less than six months. >> his blood pressure is really low. >> reporter: right now they're trying to get care to the baby who was born here, and getting respiration assistance. this is the kind of scenario that happens all the time on this ward. medical advances have dramatically improved the odds of survival for premature babies but they have not changed one aspect of this crisis.
almost all of the babies in this ward are black. >> just under 40% of the babies born are african-american, but they contribute to 70% of the babies who die in the first year of life. so you have this huge, huge disparity, and that is business as usual. it's been going on for decades. >> reporter: this baby is just hours own but he's on a life support machine. the nurses are worried about his chances of survival. he's so premature he can't breathe without the machine purposing oxygen through his tiny lungs. it's an extreme measure for such a small baby. it puts him at high risk for infection and internal bleeding.
>> he's helpless it seems like he got it from everywhere. >> reporter: for his mother it's an agonizing time. >> i really can't do anything but just stand by and watch and wait. it's a long wait. >> reporter: but lashay can't stay with him. a single mother with three other children, her earnings keep the family just above the poverty line. >> my doctors have put me on light duty, and my job didn't honor the light duty. welfare is not enough to support me and my children so i had to go back to work full duty. >> reporter: after working an overnight shift, finishing at 7:00 in the morning lashay stopped at halving contractions. she was rushed to the hospital and gave birth.
but now she has to get back to work. >> i hate to say it this way, but i'm kind of glad he did come now, and that he's going to be in the hospital for the next couple of months so that i can work. >> so that's the oxygen being pushed in? >> reporter: even if a baby can be saved in the nicu, it's an out come and cost doctors say could be prevented. >> you're literally talking about several thousand dollars per day. so if you have a baby who has been in the hospital for eight months the math is pretty easy. you're closing in on a million dollars of care just to get that baby home. if you prevent one of those pre-mys, you saved the system
hundreds of thousands of dollars. that's why access to care and prenatal care is so vital. >> if you have to have a baby born prematurely, united states is one of the best places in the world for that baby for born. our neonatal intensive care units are some of the best if not the best in the world. that's not the point. >> reporter: doctor arthur james is one of the leading mortality experts in the united states. he said that the heart of the problem lies outside of the hospitals. >> unfortunately in this country when we experience families who are in crisis, we generally throw everything in the kitchen sink to assist in help during that period of time. but we are not anywhere close being that vigilant about trying to practice preventive medicine, trying to keep families out of crisis. >> reporter: everywhere
you look in cleveland it seems that those crises are playing out. in a corner of the city's public cemetery, 24-year-old lanaye smith is visiting the grave of her infant son jason. he died two weeks ago. the burial sites are marked with nothing more than wooden sticks, but each one represents a story of personal loss. >> it's just a numbness. and it's it's just a bunch of dirt. >> reporter: each year the death rate is growing while the city's population is diminish ing. >> is this him? >> i just wish
ed -- >> reporter: laney had give birth to twins who were more than three months premature. the twin died . laney said everything was normal until one night when j as i on stopped breathing in his sleep. >> when i woke him up, it was like nothing. >> reporter: the doctors told lanay it was sudden infant syndrome, sids. >> my kids are my soul. my kids are my heart.
>> heartbreaking. following up on sebastian walker's report. we turn to dr. richard davis who is director of neonatal care unit. doctor, you heard this report as well. when we hear 40% of babies born are african-american, but 70% don't make it, how can this be? is this a peculiar problem just to cleveland, or do you see this in chicago? >> every city, every state looked at has a large gap between birth outcomes between black and white infants. >> what do you attribute this to? where we live in a society where the medicare is so good, when babies have such a good chance of making it, how can this be? >> the problem is not what happens after the babies are
born. the problem is that they're born so early and they need all that intensive care to survive, and many of them do survive, but more don't than we would like. so preventing prematurity is really the only way to solve this problem. >> is it clear that this is a racial divide? how do we know it's not a socio-economic question or environmental question, how do we know? >> i don't think it's either/or. i think it's a lot of things working at the same time. the disparity between black infants and white infants has existed and in fact, has widened. between 1950 and 2000 it increased considerably and steadily over the decades. but there's also another disparity.
the affluent. >> do you see examples that a lower income white mother might face the same rates of infant mortality than a white woman of a higher economic status? >> yes and no. if you compare white high school dropouts to white college graduates the infant mortality rate for less educated and lower income women is about three times as high as the affluent white women. similarly, if you compare black women who have finished college to those who haven't, and lower economic status you see a gap as well. however, having said that, unfortunately, an african-american woman who is graduated from college still has
a higher risk of an infant death than a white woman who has not finished high school. >> really, so you can't attribute it entirely to socio-economic factors? >> i would say you should look at socio-economic factors and race working together. >> in other words, a lot of education or prenatal care might not be enough to make the difference? >> not in one generation, probably. i think we have to understand that these disparities have very, very deep roots. for example, some research that we've done has shown that a woman who is stressed, who is carrying a female fetus, gives birth to a little girl who will grow up and herself will have a higher risk of a bad birth outcome. despite the fact that that little girl has grown up into a woman with a high income. if her mother was in a stressful
situation when she was a fetus, it imparts a certain risk to her that other infants would not have. >> i guess it's a quick answer i'm asking for, but is there an easy resolution to this? >> i think the resolution is going to require very deep and profound social and political changes. the strategy that has been taken in this country to reduce infant more tanty has been very much focused on high technology. we're very good at that. i do it for a living. but the problem is the preventive measures as mentioned in the piece we just heard, have not been undertaken seriously. in fact, we seem to be going backwards. taking away food supports, employment supports housing, many things which would reduce the stress. >> yes, those women actually identified would make a
difference in their own lives. dr. richard david, we appreciate you joining us tonight. >> glad to be her. >> sebastian walker full report on infant mortality will air on friday night at 9:30 eastern and again on sunday night at 7:00 eastern here on al jazeera america. coming up here pope francis' vision and his warning. why he says the catholic church may crumble if it fails to find
the most important money stories of the day might affect yourries savings, your job, or your retirement. whether it's bailouts or bond rates, this stuff gets complicated. but don't worry, i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down confusing financial speak and make it real. >> he has already shown himself to be a very different leader of the catholic church, but pope francis' first lengthily
interviewed released today contained surprising and stunning statements. he spoke to the jesuit, his own order and said the church has become too obsessed on issues like gay marriage, contraceptives and abortion, and he said that the catholic church might fall like a house of cards if it doesn't become a more welcoming place for life of all. he did not, however, suggest any changes in church doctrine. we appreciate you being here, why is the hope making headlines in secular media? how big of a revolution is what he was saying? >> i think there is something relatable about pope franchise, and i think his desire to drill down into the foundations of
christianity does release thi these energies that maybe there is something radical that he has to say or revolutionary that he has to say. >> let's take a look at some of his comments. this one was about women. he said the feminine genius is needed. whenever we make an important decision, the challenge is to think about the specific place of women and where the authority of church is exercised for various areas of this church, is he indicating that he's thinking about a different role for women in the church, a more official role, women as priests? >> i don't think he wants to say that women can priest, and he highlights john ii who highlights the women of genius, the complimentary between men and women and the function of roles. he wants to say the dignity of women is such that their genius is required at every decision
making level of the church. >> that would be different in and of itself. >> it would be a call, i think, for theologians, for lay people to continually ask questions about what new roles and functions women could have in making decisions in the leadership of the church. >> let's go to another comment that he made will homosexuality. "a person once asked me in a provocative manner if i approved of homosexuality. i told him, when god looks at a gay person, does he look at this person with love or does he reject this important. of course he said this in italian, so there was translation involved, but he made another comment about homosexuality earlier this year. >> yes, when he came back from rio he made this distinction
between which we heard about last time. but i think what he wants to do is something, once again, similar to john pa john paul iio opened his papacy about the prodigal son. he doesn't care about the sin. he cares about his son coming back to me. in this quote here he wants to emphasize that god loves the person, and that is something to be differentiated from sinful facts, and i think that is already a challenge to the notion that one is gay by nature rather than one has same sex desires which one acts upon. there is a sense of which we can misread pope francis as the liberal that we want him to be. >> so maybe not as revolutionary as the secular media is holding him out. >> at least to that kind of revolution would mean, yes. >> there is another comment that he said. he said it's not necessary to
talk about these issues all the time. that comment struck me as a statement about all these things, about homosexuality, abortion, about the role of women. we don't need to talk about these things all the time. what does that significantfyify to you. >> that's the most important thing that he felt he said, that the church is a field hospital and the church is understood as a place for healing. if the church is understood as a place of healing of many wounds, we don't focus on every one of them. we focus on the message that the church is a place of love and healing. >> which does refer to that last screen, the thing the church needs more today is the availability to heal wounds. >> exactly. and it can be distracting and distorted if all you're ever looking at is the one sin rather than healing for it.
>> so a new view for the pope and his papacy. he makes a lot of headlines in the secular media. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me . >> the palm oil industry boon in m malaysia is having a deadly effects on the pigmy elephant. the small elmans ar elephants are dying at an alarming rate. >> take away the people and she's alone. so far the only pigmy elephant at the rescue sanctuary. the expectation is there will be as many 50 injured elephants joining her. lucky for her, but that demand is a worrying threat to the wildlife. the
sanctuary was opened by governor. >> you're involved in this, your guilty conscious made you part of it. >> definitely not. that's a realization that we cannot live in isolation. i think it's a realization that we should be part of the overall effort. >> reporter: it is still possible tha to see striking wildlife down the river although the chance of seeing an elman is highly unlikely. there are thought to be 200 left. no one knows how muc how many there once was. >> for kilometer after kilometer, after kilometer. this is all you see trees. it's fruit and seeds are
crushed in process, and it's in thousands of product. >> in the air you see the scale. at ground level the trucks rumble buy at relentless predictability. sometimes animals are not rushed out, but hurt. and these elephants are thought to have ate bait meant for smaller animals to keep them out of the plantations. there are other threats, too. >> trunks get hurt by hunting senators and they cause horrible injuries. so this sanctuary is for this group of animals. >> reporter: financial support for the sanctuary is welcomed. but eve even those in the palm l industry say in the past they've been part of the problem. >> that report from al jazeera's andrew thomas. coming up next here a new york
>> we end this night with a look at the catholic community closer to home. if you're in times square late on saturday night you may see a few actors bolting were broadway to a religious mission. some are headed to church, the actor's chapel. likely the only church in the world where a stuntman changes a life and a choir with residents could deliver the faithful the best seats in the house. >> we visited a church in new york city and met some folks you might already know. >> dear father, it is hard for me to put into works what st. malikis meantimes to me. it is where i first took my children to mass. where i would go often between
matinee and eave performances, and when i would meet fellow actors i can't imagine broadway without st. maliky. god bless. florence henderson. >> it's called the actor's chapel because we're in the midst of the theater community. it had settled around here where a church had already been established. and once it had come here the parish priest responded to the new need, and started servicing the theatrical community. >> i wouldn't actually call it the entertainment chapel because it involved everyone in the industry. >> reporter: times square in 1977 was a disaster. when roger moore arrived here in 1977 he realized he could not keep the church open if the neighborhood didn't change.
he would talk to the drawing dealers , the prostitutes, everybody. he talked to everybody and worked against the negative element. he said when he first got here the catholic church saved time square. >> you may find at different point of the week the bells play a tune you may be familiar. [♪ music ] >> well with, i moved into the neighborhood back in '82, and i got an apartment down the street. one summer night i heard these bells playing "there is no business like show business." i asked the land lady, i heard bells playing "there is no business like show business." i said what theater is near here. she said no, it's the church down the street.
>> you find it ironic that we're playing a show tune at a catholic church. but it's a church where everyone would feel comfortable to walk in to. >> a lot of actors are famous for coming here. chris farley used to come here. antonio banderas. >> bob hope was here. >> i'm matt gumley. i was in "mary poppins," beauty and the beast. i've done some tv. >> you might know me from being ed on disney's the lion king. >> i'm luke mannikus, and i've been matilda the musical on broaded way. >> we're the only church in new york and probably anywhere
in the world that has 11:00 o'clock mass for performers. >> it satisfies your sunday obligation to attend mass. >> i don't want to get up on sunday morning, no. [ laughing ] >> did you get a lot of laughs? >> on saturday night trying to get to the chapel is very stressful. >> i finish the show. i've done this great show. >> are you getting autographs? >> i made a lot of people hopefully very happy in their experience. >> everyone is talking about the show that they saw, and they're, like, this person was amazing, and the show is amazing. >> and people are out having a good time. some of them maybe had one too many drinks. >> clowns to the right of me. jokers to the right. >> yes, we get that the show was amazing, but you should get to where your destination is, and then talk about it. >> just don't get run over. >> crowds everywhere. you just trying to get to church.
you're dodging, you're scurrying. >> there are tourists like, click, click. >> we got to go. we got a break. >> that's what i find interesting. it's the trying, it's the trying to get there. it's my spiritual struggle. >> my wife is currently in her second battle with cancer. so it's really --it's amazing. what something like this can bring to your life. it's sort of a thing where you don't--you're not aware of it until these times. but i'm keenly aware of it now. >> i pray that everybody who's sick and hopeles homeless, that they get what they need. and everybody who wants to try
to be in this show biz, they try their hardest. even if they don't get something, it doesn't mean that they're not good. it just means that they have to keep working. >> i think the actor will pray for success in their craft. they're willing to sacrifice so much, and i've seen it. the struggle an actor will be engaged in trying to keep life normal just to be able to pursue this craft is incredible. the dedication. it's impressive. >> there are a lot of people who would say that there is a conflict between the values of the catholic church and what is traditionalcally perceived as the heedennistic lifestyle of show business the old days of actors being considered salacious rum pots is really far gone. most actors in my experience are
working. a lot of them are very spiritual, very religious. >> you have to understand that an actor is involved in a position that john paul ii said the actor and the artist were those who best emulate god in his activity of creation. where god took nothing and made it something. so, too, an actor or artist. they seem to create out of nothing something that seems to be their own work. therefore it is quite appropriate that the actor would come to a place of worship. >> and that is america tonight. remember, if you would like comment on any stories you have seen tonight. log on to www.aljazeera.com/america tonight. we'll see you tomorrow.
>> you are watching al jazeera. i am stephanie sy. here are the stories we are following: the house of representatives is scheduled to vote today on a bill that would cut off money for the president's healthcare law in exchange for keeping the government running past september. the bill is expected to pass the republican controlled house but has little chance of getting by the senate. and the house voted to cut nearly $4,000,000,000 a year from the food stamp program now known as snap. the bill passed without a single democratic vote. if enacted, an estimated 4 million people could lose their benefits. >> the death toll from the flooding disaster in colorado has risen to seven